LED ad displays coming to fences in British horse racing
British horse racing venues will be able to offer more advertising inventory after the go-ahead was given for digital LED displays on the back of fences at jump racing events.
The British Horseracing Authority, the national governing body for the sport, announced yesterday that, following consultation with the racecourses, the Racecourse Association (RCA) and participants including trainers and jockeys, and testing of equipment developed by sports marketing agency Priority Sports Marketing, LED advertising displays will be permitted on the landing side of fences from 1 October.
The venture, which follows the lead taken in other sports, is being launched on a trial basis with racecourses requested to seek permission from the BHA to utilise displays at their events.
It has been laid down that the displays must be static when the runners are in the vicinity of the fences, namely at the start of and during a race, but it is felt that they will offer the potential for more creativity and flexibility in enabling switching between advertisers and sponsors for different races on a card, and boost revenues from these sources. The displays will be battery-powered so there will be no risk of electrocution for horses or riders.
Jamie Mitchell, the managing director of Priority Sports Marketing, told The Times newspaper: "This brings British racing into the 21st century and will be worth million over time."
It is estimated that a 10-second advertising slot at a high-profile event such as the Grand National at Aintree would be worth between £5,000 ($6,355) and £10,000.
In a statement, Richard Linley, senior inspector of courses for the BHA, said: “LED displays are used widely in other sports and provide for a more modern appearance and greater flexibility for racecourses, which we hope will help them generate greater revenue from advertisement and sponsorship.”
Caroline Davies, racecourse services director for the RCA, added: “I am pleased to see LED screens arrive to British racing and look forward to seeing these introduced in the coming months. They will unquestionably enhance the raceday experience and also will open up valuable opportunities for our sponsors and supporters which in turn open new income streams for our members. The technology is state of the art and will add a further layer of engagement, both on-course and for the television audience.”
Image courtesy of BHA